Let’s go way back to elementary school. I loved watching and playing sports. I would play games in gym class and at recess- come home- and brag about how good I was in all these sporting activities. My dad started playing catch with me and realized I always stated how I threw a great pass – or made such a good catch. He listened to me as I continuously complimented myself while never giving any credit to the others playing. After stating a rule of “no organized sports until junior high”, he relented while I was in fourth grade to teach me a lesson in humility. That’s how my athletic story began…. A little lesson on “no I in TEAM” turned into a long, successful career in wrestling, basketball, football, and track. In college, I was fortunate enough to play a game I loved while obtaining my exercise science degree and taking classes in health education. Football had always kept me in shape and I learned so many other valuable lessons in weight training, sports conditioning, and coaching others.
After my college career ended, I started working for a distribution center. It was amazing how well I could stay in “lifting shape” while being on the truck. I was still strong and trim, but could feel my cardio slipping. I joined a one-hand touch football team as an outlet to continue to play the game I loved – while trying to get back to the shape I was in college. I remember coming back from playing on Sundays and still feeling my legs on Wednesday!!! I needed something else to do and I did not like how out of shape I was getting.
Like Julie mentioned, we joined the Y in 2008 and I had no problem getting back into lifting shape. The cardio would come, and with my exercise science background, I started putting a plan of sorts together to help me achieve my goal. That was the problem…. What was my goal? What am I training for? What am I trying to achieve? For the first time in 15 years, I was no longer training for a sport. I needed something to drive me. I needed a reason to be at the gym after a 10-hour day on the truck. Enter triathlon.
This was it! I became fascinated with this sport. The Y had a “cycle camp” class where I figured out how to bike. I could not believe how exhausted one could get while riding a stupid bicycle! I started running. I could always run – however my 4.6 40-yard dash speed was not going to help me in a 5k. I started running for mileage. Pacing was something totally new. I hit the pool and became friends with a man named Tim Keppers. He was a fantastic swimmer and graciously took the time to teach me how to swim efficiently. It was fantastic! I couldn’t wait to begin the racing season.
Around this time, Julie had started working again. She started at the Y and you know her story about becoming a personal trainer. We talked about our future. I felt I could not do my job forever, and I was wishing I was doing a job that I could use my degree in. I wanted to do something that I really enjoyed. Julie would come home and she always seemed happy with what she was doing. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I could do that too. As Destination Fitness was born, I went out and started personal training as well. From my experiences with overseeing the weight program at my high school to tracking/developing an off-season training program for one of our college sports’ teams – I felt like I had a lot to offer. I gained a ton of knowledge and expanded my certifications to include a USAT Level 1 Triathlon coach.